Failure To Yield To An Emergency Vehicle

We’ve all seen a police vehicle with its light flashing on the side of the road. How should we proceed past that police car? The law explains what you should do – a violation of this law could be charged as a misdemeanor. And a violation that results in an injury or death will be a more serious charge.

Emergency Vehicle on Side of Road

When passing a stationary emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its lights flashing, you must either

  • Get into the left lane if there is a left lane
  • If you are unable to get in the left lane due to either weather, road conditions, or traffic, then you must reduce and maintain a safe speed for the weather, road conditions, and traffic, and then proceed with due care and caution, or as directed by an officer.

To summarize, once you see those flashing lights on the side of the road, start trying to get over to the left lane as far as possible. If you are unable to get over, start slowing down immediately so that you are moving at a slow speed by the time you are passing the emergency vehicle. The law does not specify, but if there is only one lane, then your move should be to slow down and proceed with due care and caution.

Potential Penalties

A violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $500.00 fine, or both. Jail time for your run-of-the-mill failure to yield charge isn’t likely to land you in jail. However, this misdemeanor does come with 4 points on your driving record.

A violation of this law that results in an injury to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency person in the immediate area is guilty of a felony, punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment, a $1,000.00 fine, or both.

A violation of this law that results in the death of a police officer, firefighter or other emergency person in the immediate area is guilty of a felony, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment, a $7,500.00 fine, or both.

The latter two violations are obviously much more serious than the run-of-the-mill 90-day misdemeanor. Any driving case with a death will result in an automatic one-year hard suspension of the driver’s license.

MCL 257.653a

Contact Us at 734.883.9584

Call Sam Bernstein at 734.883.9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

Sam Bernstein is a traffic ticket and criminal defense lawyer in Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

Traffic Ticket Lawyer in Ypsilanti

We represent clients for traffic tickets and traffic misdemeanors in courts throughout the area, including City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, Chelsea, and Ann Arbor. Call us to see your options with your traffic ticket before you admit responsibility. We can work to prevent unnecessary points on your record. Many prosecutors are willing to work with attorneys to help spare a deserving client points on the license.

Call 734.883.9584 today for help with your traffic ticket

“To be an effective criminal defense counsel, an attorney must be prepared to be demanding, outrageous, irreverent, blasphemous, a rogue, a renegade and a hated, isolated and lonely person – few love a spokesman for the despised and the damned.” – Clarence Darrow

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